Mets – Willets Point (LIRR station)

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Mets – Willets Point
Shea Stadium (LIRR).jpg
The station, during the 2007 U.S. Open.
Station statistics
Address Perimeter Road in Flushing Meadows Park
Flushing, New York
Coordinates 40°45′09″N 73°50′37″W / 40.752516°N 73.843725°W / 40.752516; -73.843725Coordinates: 40°45′09″N 73°50′37″W / 40.752516°N 73.843725°W / 40.752516; -73.843725
Line(s)
Connections New York City Subway:
NYCS 7 NYCS 7d trains at Mets – Willets Point
Local Transit NYCT Bus: Q48
Platforms 3 island platforms
Tracks 6
Other information
Opened 1939
Rebuilt 1964
Electrified 750V (DC) third rail
Owned by Long Island Rail Road
Fare zone 1
Formerly World's Fair (1939–1946)
United Nations (1946–1952)
World's Fair (1961–1966)
Shea Stadium (1966–2008)[1]
Services
Preceding station   MTA NYC logo.svg LIRR   Following station
toward Penn Station
Port Washington Branch
(Game days and USTA matches only)

Mets – Willets Point (formerly Shea Stadium) is a seasonal-use station on the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch, located near Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in the New York City borough of Queens.

The station is used only during New York Mets home games at Citi Field (Shea Stadium prior to 2009) for the New York Mets, during the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA National Tennis Center, and in emergencies. Although Mets – Willets Point was originally not part of CityTicket, it was added to the CityTicket program in August 2011,[2] and fares are collected before boarding when the station is in use.

History[edit]

The station, which opened in time for the 1939 New York World's Fair, included a modernistic structure above the tracks that could accommodate up to 18,000 passengers per hour. Resembling an airplane hangar, it combined both Art Deco and Bauhaus features,[3] and was also in close proximity to the Railroads on Parade exhibit.[4] Between 1946 and 1952, the station was known as United Nations Station. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was the temporary site of the U.N. General Assembly, and had shuttle buses to their temporary headquarters in Lake Success at the time. Once the UN moved to its permanent home on the east side of Midtown-Manhattan, the station closed. However, it was reopened again with its original name on January 11, 1961, and the 1939 World's Fair ramp was expanded for the 1964 New York World's Fair to connect the Flushing Meadows – Corona Park to Shea Stadium, which opened that same year (though it was not part of the World's Fair). After the World's Fair closed in 1965, the station was named for Shea Stadium in 1966. When Elmhurst station closed in 1985, Shea Stadium station became the westernmost station on the Port Washington Branch before merging with the LIRR Main Line at Winfield Junction. As of 2003, a portion of track from the Whitestone Line, which diverged just east of the station, was still visible next to the westbound track.

Following the 2009 closure and demolition of Shea Stadium, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority renamed the station to Mets – Willets Point, matching the name of the adjoining subway station and omitting the corporate-sponsored name associated with the current stadium. The MTA was unsuccessful in achieving a similar naming rights deal and would not post the name for free.[5]

Platform and track configuration[edit]

Fans streaming into the station following the conclusion of a September 2008 Mets game at Shea.
1 Port Washington Branch toward Penn Station game days only (Woodside)
Port Washington Branch does not stop here
2 Port Washington Branch toward Port Washington game days only (Flushing – Main Street)
Port Washington Branch does not stop here
3   no service
4   no service
5   no service
6   no service

The Port Washington Branch has six tracks at this station. This station has three high-level island platforms. The north platform, adjacent to Tracks 1 and 2, the two main tracks, is eight cars long. The center platform, adjacent to Tracks 3 and 4, is also eight cars long. The south platform, adjacent to Tracks 5 and 6, is six cars long. Only the north platform is currently in use. The stairwells leading to the other platforms are blocked off, the platforms are in disrepair, and the tracks are rusted over. The platforms are decorated in Mets colors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LIRR Station History". trainsarefun.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  2. ^ "MTA LIRR'S Discounted Weekend 'CityTicket' Now Good for Travel to Mets-Willets Point Station". August 4, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  3. ^ "Long Island Gets Modernistic Station at World's Fair". Railway Age: 823–826. May 13, 1939. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  4. ^ Railroad Building; The Eastern Railroads Presidents' Conference (1939 New York World's Fair.com)
  5. ^ Neuman, William (May 11, 2009). "Stadium Is Citi Field, but the Subway Stop Has Other Ideas". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mets – Willets Point (LIRR station) at Wikimedia Commons